Black Thought Project And Media 2070 Collaborate To Release “The Black Future Newsstand”

Black Thought Project And Media 2070 Collaborate To Release “The Black Future Newsstand”

In celebration of Juneteenth, the Black Thought Project and Media 2070 have collaborated to mount the “Black Future Newsstand,” a live newsstand designed to answer the question, “What does a media that loves Black people look, feel, sound, and taste like in a future where reparations are real?”

The installation, located in The Africa Center’s Teranga Cafe at Fifth Avenue in Harlem, drew a large crowd of creatives who gathered to imagine an alternate world in which reparations exist, and the media centers on Black stories rather than excludes them.

The installation offers people the opportunity to view featured outlets and artwork. Visitors can also read the special “Black Future News” edition of the New York Amsterdam News, created in partnership with the Newsstand team.

“We have poured our hearts, souls, art, dreams, and self-love into this newsstand,” Media 2070 co-creator Collette Watson said in a news release. “We’re so grateful to bring this project to Harlem and are overwhelmed by the turnout and positive reception.”

Added Watson, “It’s important that Black people own and control our narratives and that Black expression is protected. These Black-owned publications provide a space for us to breathe and offer our perspectives and gifts.”

The exhibit received hundreds of visitors throughout the week, all clamoring to view the Afro-futuristic display, which featured Black-owned publications that guests could peruse. Contributing artists also spoke to the guests, and visitors shared stories they would like to see in the news with the project’s organizers.

The installation also showcased a Black Thought Wall, which allowed visitors to write directly on the outer walls of the newsstand, answering questions like “What do you love about yourself?” 

“There are so many people who have done the utmost to bring this newsstand to fruition, and our gratitude can’t be overstated,” said Alicia M. Walters, creator of the Black Thought Project. “We are here to practice centering Blackness together and celebrate what is possible when Black people come together in creative matrimony.”

Umber magazine was one of the featured publications at the newsstand.

“Umber was created for moments like this,” said Mike Nicholls, its founder and creative director. “We’re all about globally amplifying creative perspectives that matter, and I’m honored and humbled to have Umber be part of Black Future Newsstand. It’s critical to create and promote the future you want to see, particularly as it relates to Black publishing and journalism.”

“Black Future Newsstand” will remain open in The Africa Center’s Teranga Cafe through July 31.

The Black Future Newsstand Project was made possible with the support and collaboration of Free Press, Maven Collaborative, and Borealis Philanthropy’s Racial Equity in Journalism Fund. Institutional partners include The Africa Center and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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